If you’ve ever spent time in my classroom as a student you’ll know exactly why I kept clicking on the cat, but this charming feline has apparently, and mysteriously, learned to speak Spanish! In fact, Toxie may be a great way to get students in your class thinking about their own homes and observing the things that go on in them through a whole new set of furry sunglasses.
That’s because ToxMystery is a brief, fun, and educational game for kids from the National Library of Medicine that takes them through an entire house with their entertaining host, Toxie, locating all the things that are creating an environmental hazard while answering questions about their impact on the health of its inhabitants. And although it’s been designed for children from age 7 to 10, I’ve got to admit it’s a bit amusing to watch the cat dance around once they’ve correctly identified all of the problems in a room. At the end, they get to print out a personalized certificate of completion, letting the world know they’ve learned a bit about protecting the environment in their own homes too.
Of course, as a product of the National Library of Medicine it’s got a parent guide and teacher resources, which make it easy to incorporate into the regular classroom day as a learning station or in the computer room together as a class.